Action: Change mowing regime
- One before-and-after study in Australia found that restoration that included reduced mowing increased numbers of frog species.
Many amphibians require damp terrestrial habitat once they move out of water. If vegetation surrounding water bodies is mown very short, it will not retain sufficient humidity or provide cover for amphibians during their terrestrial stages. Cutting can also disturb amphibians.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 1996–2004 of a golf course with degraded woodland and grassland in Sydney, Australia (Burgin & Wotherspoon 2009) found that restoration that included changing the mowing regime resulted in an increase in frog species over two years. Frogs increased from seven to 10 species in the first year and then remained stable for the following six years. A total of 18 species of frogs were predicted in the area of which 56% were present following restoration. The golf course was developed in 1993 and restoration undertaken in 1997–2001. The mowing regime was changed to maintain taller areas of rough grass. In addition, during mowing a narrow band of herb vegetation was retained around ponds as a buffer zone for amphibians. Endemic shrubs and trees were planted, non-native weeds were removed and coarse woody debris was reintroduced onto the woodland floor. Pond perimeters were walked to record frog calls in 1996–2004.